Submitted by his family
Bret Neff was a wonderful person. He was loved and respected by all that knew him. He loved his son‚ his family‚ friends‚ his job as an EKG Tech and being a volunteer firefighter. He died on February 23‚ 2004‚ while on the scene of a mutual aid fire call. He is sadly missed‚ but always loved.
Bret first joined the Harford Volunteer Fire Dept. in 1985‚ along with his father‚ older brother‚ and several uncles. He joined the Navy‚ following the footsteps of his father. He became a Hospital Corpsman while serving during 1990-1996. He got such great satisfaction in helping others. When it was time for him to come home from California‚ from the Navy‚ the people he worked with threatened to ‘break his legs’ so he couldn’t leave. They didn’t want to lose such a good man.
When Bret returned back to New York‚ he again joined the volunteer fire department in Spencer and then again to Harford’s department. If Bret wasn’t home or at work‚ he was at the fire station. On his day off‚ he would also volunteer with his girlfriend‚ Rosie Gamble‚ to run with their ambulance calls for Slaterville Volunteer Fire Department. Doing this encouraged him to become an EMT. Bret was very liked at the station. They have said that Bret was a jokester and always made them laugh. He had made up many nicknames for several of the members. He was voted in to be Deputy Chief in 2004‚ shortly before he died. His badge #457 has been retired by the department in honor of his memory and service.
Bret also enjoyed his job at the hospital‚ Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca‚ as an EKG Tech. Everyone misses him there. They say they miss seeing him walking through the halls with his bright colored scrub tops and his fun loving smile. He was always willing to help out whoever and wherever he could. The hospital has set a special fund for him to receive later in his life. His son Dustin Albert meant the world to him. They were always together‚ always laughing‚ singing or just having fun. Dustin is a spitting image of his father‚ in looks and personality. We will always have a piece of ‘Little Bret’ with us.
In honor of Bret being a fallen firefighter‚ a Dalmatian dog was donated to Dustin. Dustin named her Daisy Alice‚ a nickname that his father would call him while joking with him. The local Boy Scouts also honored Bret. They planted a flower garden and a memorial stone was placed at the local town park in his memory.
Bret is survived by his son‚ Dustin Albert Neff; his parents‚ Bert & Dorothy Neff; his older brother‚ Bert Neff III‚ his wife‚ and four children; his sisters‚ Debra Morrison‚ Pamela Neff‚ Peggy Grimaldi‚ her husband and daughter; Karen Neff and her three sons. We all miss him terribly every day but know that he is still around and will be forever in our hearts.